It might be dangerous to put this in print, but here goes: I used to actively avoid UNC basketball. Now that I’ve written it, it feels good to get it out.
Flashback to first-year me. I avoided the Dean Dome like it didn’t loom right behind my dorm, Hinton James. And now, here I am: a second-semester junior and a born-again Tar Heel. So what inspired the change?
I came to UNC very apathetic about the sports culture. When I chose this school, the massive basketball culture was not even on my radar. I knew it was a thing, and I knew it was a big deal, but I didn’t watch either of the Duke versus UNC games my first year. I felt annoyed that it seemed like so much of the campus’ focus was on sports. Why care about something that so many people acted like fanatics over?
My apathy became a shtick. My dad often marvelled at how I went to one of the biggest basketball schools in the country and had not attended one game at the beloved Dean Dome. I feigned boredom any time conversations about how well UNC was doing took place among my friends. I rolled my eyes any time cheers rocked the hallways of my dorm.
And then last year happened. UNC won every game in the March Madness tournament. Of course, I started to pay attention. I had friends who wanted to watch the games instead of going to dinner while UNC was playing. I decided a couple of times to watch along with them, just to avoid losing out on quality time with them.